Be sure you carefully check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) with each policy, as you could be (or are being) charged for redundant inclusions, like birth-related services (i.e. obstetrics), and assisted reproduction, like IVF. Compare the Market can help you compare and decide on the health insurance policy that covers your needs. Don’t worry; you won’t have to re-serve any waiting periods you’ve already honoured.
What isn’t covered by health insurance that might affect seniors?
Private health insurance does not cover aged care; eligible seniors can gain access to partially government-funded aged care to help lower costs. Depending on the type of policy, there may be other exclusions as well, some including:
- visits to your GP
- eye exams, as they are subsidised by Medicare
- certain services like elective cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery are either not covered or are covered to a limited amount. The same applies to some other services that aren’t listed under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
How much can health insurance for seniors cost?
The cost of health insurance depends on the type of coverage you select. As you can deduct certain redundant services like family-planning, coverage can be cheaper than some family or couples policies. And if you’re an empty-nester, you might like to switch to a suitable couples or singles health insurance policy.
Seniors over 65 receive a higher government rebate on health insurance than younger policyholders to help cover the cost of premiums. As outlined in the table below, the standard rebate amount is around 31% for singles over 65 years old earning $90,000 or less, or families over 65 years old earning $180,000 or less. The standard rebate on health insurance for seniors over 70 is greater again, and is applied approximately at a rate of 36%. For more rebate rates versus income thresholds, take a look at the table below:
|Singles||< 90,000||90,001 – 105,000||105,001 – 140,000||> 140,001|
|Families||< 180,000||180,000 -210,001||210,001 – 280,000||>280,001|
|Age||Standard||Tier one||Tier two||Tier three|
|65 – 69||31.256%||22.326%||13.395%||0%|
|Medicare Levy Surcharge|
N.B. These rebate levels are applicable from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. Families include single parents, couples, and de facto couples.You may be eligible for a private health insurance rebate if you:
- are eligible for Medicare
- have a complying health insurance product (either extras or hospital cover)
- have an income below Tier Three for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes.
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC), introduced in July 2000, is a financial loading that is an added cost to anyone over the age of 31 if they haven’t held continuous hospital cover and decide to take it out (provided they are not exempt).This loading is charged on top of your hospital premium at 2% for each year you are over 30 if you didn’t purchase hospital cover before July 1 following your 31st birthday or July 1, 2000, or if you have not held hospital cover for the past 10 years. This rate is capped at a maximum of 70%, and is removed once you have held and paid the LHC loading for 10 years. See how you’re affected by LHC by using our handy LHC calculator.The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) can be charged up to 1.5% to high income earner (families earning $180,000 per year or childless individuals earning more than $90,000 annually) that don’t hold hospital cover. This is not to be confused with the Medicare Levy, which applies to all taxpayers, as the MLS is charged on top of the levy. So if you’re still working, or are earning money from investments, seniors health insurance can help prevent this added cost.Frequently asked questions